Objective To explore the differences in default mode network between premature and full-term infants by using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI).
Methods 17 premature infants and 27 full-term infants were subject to RS-fMRI scanning. The data were analysed by amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF),while relative to the full term infants, the enhanced and weakened regions of ALFF in premature infants were observed.
Results The resting-state fMRI indicated that premature infants showed significant declines of ALFF in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), inferior orbitofrontal cortex, supramarginal (SMG), insula, anterior temporal lobe (ATL), middle temporal lobe (MTL), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), middle cingulate cortex (MCC), pallidum, putamen, rolandic operculum, parahippocampalcortex (PHC). And significant increases in precuneus (PCu), fusiform and calcarine cortex were noted.
Conclusions Compared with full-term infants, we speculated that premature infants might present a development delay in the frontal, temporal and middle cingulate gyrus. The decreased ALFF in the inferior frontal might be connected with cognitive deficits or delay cognitive development of some premature children. Another interesting area lied in the middle cingulate gyrus which was related with human’s self-consciousness, which implied that there might be some problems of self-consciousness of premature infants. The increased effects on the premature infants might be because of the compensation effect.
Abbreviation: GA: gestational age; M: male; F: female.